After a long awaited arrival we made it back to the rock. My fiancée and I were supposed to be checking in back in August but Hurricane Isaac had other plans for us. So we rebooked for this week and wouldn’t you know it, we get slammed with Hurricane Sandy, Earthquake and then a Nor’easter that left 8 inches of snow at our front door a week before we left. We really needed to escape NJ and the crazy weather that Mother Nature had brought our way.
Day 1 – November 11th
We awoke at 4am to catch our flight out of EWR, our flight out on United to RSW was seamless as well as our connection to EYW. We touched down about 2:30pm and off to the Ibis Bay we go. We were greeted by Gina at the front desk. Gina was so helpful and accommodating. I found out that she was the one I spoke with when our flights got cancelled back in August, after looking at my ID she asked how we made out with the storms up by us. After giving her the rundown of how we didn’t have power for days and all the fun stuff I listed above, Gina started our trip off with a bang and upgraded us to a 1 bedroom loft suite! We were then directed to go to the fun desk to get our welcome package that is filled with a bunch of goodies for BOGO drinks at certain locations. Got to our suite, bathing suits on, pool bar and pool it is! Man how we needed this, made it for the start of happy hour, 2 beers one Miller Light one Amstel Light all for $5.00. Got 2 great seats next to the pool my fiancée stuck her foot in the pool and decided that it was just a sun bathing day for her. Me, well if I am somewhere with a bathing suit on, not home shoveling snow, no matter how cold that water is I am in! I floated around the whole time we were there that day. We made some new friends that were down for the boat races. About 7pm we decided to get cleaned up and hit up The Stoned Crab. This place was jamming! We got a great seat next to the water and a view of the big screen for football. We started with the Conch Fritters which were good, I had the Lobster, Crab Mac and cheese….OH MY! And Dee had the Ahi Tuna over a salad which I must say totally blew our minds. This dinner to start off the week on the rock is what we have been waiting for now for 6 months. If you ever get a chance to get to the stoned grab I would suggest these 2 meals…so good! After dinner no room for dessert so we used the Key West bar cards to get our free beers and headed back to the room. I admit I didn’t even finish my beer and I passed out hard. Long day of traveling, pool time and some good grub, this trip is going to be great!
Day 2 – 11/12/12
We woke up early and hit the Stoned Crab for breakfast. Dee had the Eggs Benedict which I snagged a bite of and it was really good, she topped that off with a mimosa. I had the biscuits and gravy just because us northerners really don’t get to have that too often and it was really good. After that we hit the pool until about 2pm and grabbed lunch at the Crab. She had the Turkey Club with Raspberry mayo and I had the catch of the day sandwich and that was grilled Mahi-Mahi slab and when I say slab I mean it in a good way because it was a big piece! Again The Stoned Crab didn’t disappoint and the food was great. Got back to the room and cleaned ourselves up. We grabbed a cab over to Turtle Kraals so we catch the turtle races and hit up happy hour. Turtle Races were awesome and fun to watch. Turtle 2 won, I had turtle 4 and Dee had 3. No one in the bar took home the $600.00. After the races we headed up to the Tower Bar where we grabbed some Peel and eat shrimp that were huge and good. We stayed for a while and chatted it up with a really nice bartender. After the first half of the Monday night football game we were feeling really good so we got a cab back to the Ibis and closed the bar out there. While we were there we had the chicken fingers and French fries a few more drinks, shots, watched the end of the football game and made it back to the room. Even though the walk is a 100 yards I don’t ever remember the walk…or stumble haha. Passed right out to prepare for day 3!
Day 3 - 11/13/12
Got up this morning and yup right back to the Crab. I had the French toast with fresh fruit and yogurt, Dee had the build your own omelet. You can choose 3 things to stuff the omelet with for the price listed or you can go crazy and have them add whatever you would like. With just the 3 things Dee picked that thing came out and it looked like a huge pillow, I mean they really stuff that thing! And yup you guessed it, the breakfast was awesome. We had a visitor in the bay right next to our table this morning. Mr. Manatee decided to poke his head up and say hi. That was pretty cool! After breakfast we pooled it again for a few hours and then got ready for a night on the town. We caught a cab over to the Conch Republic. We had a BOGO drink card from the Ibis so we got a couple of coronas. We had a few appetizers as well. I had the crab cakes and we also tried their Tuna Tataki. Both Apps were awesome. We booked the commotion on the ocean to see The Cory Haden Band so we finished our beers and got on the boat. We saw him last year and he is really good. The only reason we wanted to do this boat trip again was to see him. Once again he didn’t disappoint. We had our share of drinks made a few new friends and jammed out for a few hours. Once we docked we hit up Kermit’s right across the street. Bought ourselves some goodies to cook with, some candies and little cakes then walked over to the SWB. Got a good seat next to the stage ordered up some Dark and Stormies, Raven was on stage and she is classic. We ordered some dinner I had the Blackened Mahi-Mahi sandwich with grilled onions and some kind of killer sauce, Dee had the Veggie Wrap. Everything that came out was so tasty and good. After dinner we walked the dock back over to Turtle Kraals and grabbed a quick drink, there were only 4 other people at the bar and it looked like they were getting ready to close so we called a cab and headed back to the hotel. Once back at the Ibis we stopped at the bar in the Crab and had a night cap and met an awesome bartender named Shannon. We chatted it up for a while a bout football and other things and called it a night about midnight. Back to the room to rest up for our final day, we so do not want this trip to come to an end.
Day 4 - 11/14/12
Woke up bright and early and headed off to breakfast at the Crab. This morning Dee decided to go with Huevos Rancheros and I had some over easy eggs and corned beef hash. Again I have nothing bad to say about breakfast always awesome. We are pool junkies so by 10am we were poolside just enjoying the stress free days in the sun. We had a visitor at the pool today in the form of a really big iguana! After a good afternoon of sun we cleaned up and headed out. We made a stop at the Key West aquarium, got our tickets just in in time for the tour and feeding. Dee got to feed the sharks and touch one, this was a fun experience for both of us. After walking around in there for a while we stepped out the door and grabbed some conch fritters from Key West conch fritters. I still think these are the best on the island along with the Key Lime dipping sauce they have. We polished off a dozen of those and headed over to the sunset. There was a cruise ship in town so everyone was crowded in front of the Westin. We were lucky enough to grab a seat above the Bistro right on the rail. After the sun went down we walked down to the Bull and Whistle for a few Margaritas. On our way back down Duval we stopped in front of the Duval street web cam. We made dorks out of ourselves and called a friend to check us out..lol or maybe we just wanted to rub it in a little. We headed down to the roof top café and used the bar cards for a few great mango mojitos and Amstel Lights. Enjoyed the evening sitting outside and then headed back to the crab for dinner. We got a great seat on the water, Dee had the Key Lime shrimp skewers with roasted tomatoes. I had the lobster stuffed ravioli and both meals were outstanding! I stuck with the Amstel’s and Dee had a great tasting cucumber mojito that Shannon whipped up for her. For dessert we ordered a slice of Key Lime pie to split but our sever Austin was cool enough to bring us that along with a big slice of tiramisu which both to our surprise were on the house! So full after dinner we were thinking about calling it a night but with Shannon behind the bar we couldn’t help but to pull up a seat and hang out for a few drinks. One of the guys we met earlier in the week decided to join us so we closed out the bar and chatted it up with Shannon the rest of the night. The night came to an end with a slow stroll back to the room. Our last day in Key West and we didn’t want it to end.
Day 5 - 11/15/12
Awoke for our last morning in Key West, and yes we headed over to the crab. I have to say we absolutely loved the food from the Stoned Crab. If you are a local or visiting Key West try and work in a meal here one day, it is so worth it.
Final breakfast I was ready to order the biscuits and gravy again because I know I will not be able to get it for a while, but all of a sudden I had this vision of a super stuffed omelet. I ordered mine with cheese, sausage and onions. Dee ordered the crab omelet without the crab. I think it had feta cheese and asparagus. Again breakfast didn’t disappoint. Sat by the water for a while and had a few coffees and mimosas. On our way out we bumped into our new friends we made one day one. We hung out all week at the pool with each other and knew from day 1 that we all made new friends. We exchanged info so we can stay in touch, said goodbye and off to pack. Made it home with no issues and Jersey is freezing. So the planning starts now for our next trip. We love Key West and the people there. The countdown to next year is going to be a long one but is well worth it!